Nonalignment: Is it anti American?
Paulos Mar Gregorios
Nonalignment as a concept is often misunderstood, mainly in two ways: as an attitude of neutrality towards big power conflict, or as equidistance from the Soviet Union and the U.S.A.
Neutrality means non-involvement. The non-alignment nations cannot be neutral or non-involved in the power conflicts that affect the human race. Two thirds of the world's people live in the 130 non-aligned countries. Power conflicts between major powers directly affect their destiny; how can they afford to be neutral or uninvolved? The non-aligned nations are committed only to make their own decisions, on the basis of justice and in the interests of peace and progress for the human race. They give no prior undertaking to be aligned with the policies of one major power bloc or another. Even among the members of the non-aligned group, there is no prior commitment to support the policies of each other in all matters. Each nation retains the freedom to judge independently any conflict anywhere, whether it be between major powers, between a major power and one of its own members, or between two members of the non-aligned group of nations.
Equally mis-leading is the concept of equidistance. There is no commitment in the non-aligned movement to view the two major powers -- the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R. on the same level. The concept that both major powers are imperialist cannot stand examination. The U.S.A. is committed by its present policy to world exploitation and military and economic domination of the world. It makes open and public statements about defending by military force its interests in the Middle East and in Latin America, Asia and Africa. To this policy the non-aligned nations have to be resolutely opposed. The U.S.A. has a record of seeking to suppress the progressive forces in Cuba and Chile, in Iran and Palestine, in Afghanistan and Vietnam, to mention only a few of the better known instances of direct or indirect U.S. intervention. The U.S.A. supports reactionary regimes in Chile, South Africa, Kampuchea and Israel. In the U.N., it has consistently used its power and influence to obstruct all progressive moves.
It is in this context that the accusation against the non-aligned movement to be based against the U.S.A. has to be examined. There is no prior commitment on the part of the non-aligned nations to be anti American. On the contrary, when the actions of U.S.A. are in support of the forces of freedom, justice, and dignity for all, the U.S.A. can expect full support from the non-aligned countries.
When the policies and actions of the U.S.A. become more pro human and supportive of progressive forces, the non-aligned movement will also become pro American. It is up to the people of the U.S.A. to see that this happens.